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Interaction design

/ˌɪntərˈækʃən dɪˈzaɪn/

Interaction design, also known as IxD, refers to the act of designing interactive digital products and services. 

In order to create desired user experiences, interaction designers focus on the users and the way they interact with the products or services. 

Core interaction design principles are:

  • Goal-driven design 
  • Good usability
  • Ergonomics 
  • Positive emotional response
  • Design for people 
  • Design patterns 
  • Design iterations.

Interaction design is often used as a synonym for user experience (UX) design, but it is actually one of the key components that make UX design. They are connected and there is no good interaction design without UX. While interaction design focuses on the part of the user journey and the moment of interaction, UX design focuses on all user-facing aspects of a product/service. Interaction designers create solutions that are focused on users’ needs, aims and behavior when interacting with products and services. 

There are 5 stages in IxD process:

  • Discovering users needs
  • Analyzing users needs
  • Designing a potential solution 
  • Prototyping the solution
  • Implementing and deploying the solution.

Interaction design also involves 5 key dimensions:

  1. 1D words (words that convey meaning, used in user interaction such as button labels)
  2. 2D (visual representations such as typography, graphics, icons that communicate different information to users)
  3. 3D (physical objects used as a medium in user interaction such as a computer or a mouse)
  4. 4D (time; understanding visual changes in user interaction and tracking user progress)
  5. 5D (behavior; actions; reactions; the act of interacting with the product or a service)

For a more holistic approach to the interaction design and how users interact with products or services, interaction designers should take in account all 5 dimensions.